Removal of Australian Bishop Raises New Questions

The National Catholic Reporter posted a story today (via Cindy Wooden of CNS) about the removal of Bishop William Morris of the Diocese of Toowoomba, Australia. This follows an apostolic visitation by Archbishop Chaput of the U.S. Diocese of Denver, Colorado. Bishop Morris issued a letter in which he explained that he has not been granted access to the report written by Bishop Chaput, and that “without due process it has been impossible to resolve these matters, denying me natural justice without any possibility of appropriate defense and advocacy on my behalf.” Bishop Morris did not want to resign, but negotiated early retirement, albeit “with profound sadness.” Why was Bishop Morris removed? Cindy Wooden writes that it is because of his Advent Pastoral Letter of 2006, in which he indicated he would be “open to ordaining women and married men if church rules changed to allow such a possibility.” The removal of Bishop Morris, without a public explanation, raises some serious questions. I wonder, what is this really about? Is this about ordination? Is “openness” to women’s ordination a sign of infidelity? What would due process look like in this case? Why was Archbishop Charles Chaput appointed as Apostolic Visitor to the Diocese of Toowoomba? Anne M. Burke, former chairperson of the USCCB National Review Board, wrote an Op-Ed in the Chicago Tribute on April 29, in which she...

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